Welcome to the ANP 429 Ethnographic Field Methods Final Project!


This course was taught by Dr. Emily Riley in MSU’s Department of Anthropology. Students were asked to conduct an ethnographic case study involving interviews, fieldnotes from observations, and primary source research. With the help of LEADR, the students then created individual pages that you can discover here, ranging in various topics and populations on campus that were of interest to them.

  1. Multimedia report (i.e. online materials summarizing your methods and findings, in the form of written text, audio, video, and photos, and other documents)

– This is going to be the bulk of your findings in the form of voice-recorded interviews and transcriptions followed by an essay-style analysis written from an anthropological perspective. You will weave the kind of ‘thick’ descriptions we talked about in class with quotes from your participants/interviews into a narrative that is accessible to a wide-audience. This narrative is designed to discuss the particular group and specific question/theme that you have chosen for your project in a compelling way with rich background information from a diverse set of supporting materials. These may include: photos of your observations of their activities or portraits, organized fieldnotes, primary sources such as archived photos of buildings, organization members written accounts or photos. Other methods could be partaking in an activity with someone whilst they narrate that activity/behavior.

Components of the final project (webpage)


  1. Participant observations (utilize fieldnotes for the detailed description used in your essay)


  1. 3 semi-structured interviews with key informants. Use quotes from your interviews throughout your narrative


  1. Background research: scholarly sources (secondary sources) from class, from your mini-assignment 2 initial research search (these will be used to support your discussion of the project, the conclusions you make from your interviews and general research) 2-3 sources.


  1. Primary sources: 2-3 primary sources such as archival documents, surveys, documentation from online sources, historical photos not taken by you, advertisements


Narrative flow:


  1. Working Title


  1. Video giving an oral presentation and tour of your project


  1. Topic Statement: Explain the theme of your study and who the population is you are researching. Specify your research aim and question (as we have done from the beginning of the course) as well as a working hypothesis and explanation for your interest in this topic. (500 words)


  1. Main body of essay/narrative: This is where you will develop the various themes you have discovered throughout your observations and interviews with the specified population. Draw upon quotes and observations to demonstrate personal experiences with your topic as well as secondary and primary sources to contextualize the insights from your observations and the voices of your participants. 1500-2000 words)


  1. Conclusions/reflections: At the end of your essay you should discuss your findings, making direct reference to aspects of your essay as evidence for your conclusion. You may discuss a specific theoretical finding, reflect on the process of doing the ethnographic project, or offer a next step for further research, providing your rationale. (500-1000)


Introductory Video Format:


Film a 5-minute introductory video that is a tutorial style tour of your webpage. The components include:

  1. introduce yourself: who are you, what is your major and why you are taking this class


  1. what the project is, and what the nature of your study is (i.e. your research population and question you are interested in), why it is of interest to you


  1. talk about the contents of your project, what your audience might find while looking through your webpage and what you hope they get out of (i.e. what is the take away/purpose of your project? What do you want your audience learn from browsing your webpage and reading your essay?)


  1. general categorization of the materials you have supplied on the webpage (explain that you have provided audio clips from interviews and photos of an activity, and why)